The Start Of A New Chapter: the South Coast Centre of Excellence milestones that led to Space South Central

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On 1 April 2023, the South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SCCoE) officially transitioned into Space South Central’s Enterprise Network, supporting the UK’s largest space cluster.

While this means that the SCCoE no longer exists as an organisation, its team, services and events championing the region’s space industry continue under the Space South Central banner.

Space South Central is built on the legacy of the SCCoE’s work. In the past seven years it:

  • Engaged with more than 400 companies
  • Delivered almost 100 events
  • Supported 65 projects
  • Helped regional organisations secure over £35 million

As we embark on an exciting new chapter for the region’s space sector, we reflect on some of the milestones that brought us to where we are today.

April 2016: The South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SCCoE) is launched, led by the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Industrial Research. Partners include Marine South East, the University of Southampton, and the National Oceanography Centre.

January 2017: SCCoE partners secure a share of £150,000 from UK Space Agency as part of the Space2Accelerate programme. A space business incubator is created to help support entrepreneurs and grow small space companies.

September 2017: The SCCoE team builds an industrial research project called WASP, the Windfarm Autonomous Support vessels project. Partners benefit from £900,000 to demonstrate robotic and AI technologies for the offshore wind sector.

January 2018: The Centre hosts one of the ESA Regional Ambassadors for the first time.

April 2019: The SCCoE’s success is rewarded with a three-year extension, having delivered more than 40 events and generated partnership income of £20 million in Phase One.

During Phase Two, the team focuses on three core topics – Transport and Logistics, Autonomous Systems and Offshore Assets. New partners join, including Ordnance Survey, the University of Sussex and Plain Sailing Communications.

January 2020: COVID-19 is declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation. All the team’s activities move online, allowing engagements with almost 30 countries.

November 2020: The SCCoE becomes a founding partner of the Surrey and Hampshire Space Hub, an initiative led by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership.

March 2021: The team moves to a new base at the Technopole in Portsmouth.

April 2021: SCCoE commissions specialist space sector consultancy, BryceTech, to conduct a thorough assessment of our regional space capabilities after securing funding from the Satellite Applications Catapult.

August 2021: The SCCoE hosts its first SPINtern, Naomi Wiren. Following Naomi’s presentation at the UK Space Conference, new projects using immersive VR technologies to explore CubeSat design and satellite orbital position are developed by University of Portsmouth students.

September 2021: Orbit South Coast is launched. The event series rapidly becomes the ‘go to’ networking activity for the regional space community.

October 2021: The Satellite Applications Catapult’s network of Space Enterprise Labs open at locations across the country, including Portsmouth. The Lab provides space industry users with free access to the latest collaborative technology, resources, and expertise.

July 2022: Launch of Space South Central at Farnborough International Airshow with support from Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Space Agency, and Lord David Willetts,Chair of the UK Space Agency’s Board.

November 2022: The SCCoE team, in partnership with Space South Central, hosts the new cluster’s first inward international delegation from Taiwan’s Space Agency.

January 2023: Orbit South Coast is rebranded as Orbit South Central. Its monthly networking events move to a ‘roadshow’ format, taking place at different locations across the Space South Central region.

April 2023: SCCoE secures over £300,000 from UK Space Agency and begins a new journey as the Space South Central Enterprise Network.

The SCCoE team would like to thank all partners for your support and engagement – and look forward to working with you in the future as part of Space South Central.